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Combatting issues through combined awareness

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Megan Estrada
  • 23d Wing Public Affairs

Several helping agencies and organizations held Moody’s first combined awareness day at the George W. Bush Air Park on April 26, 2021.

The event hosted informational booths with topics such as sexual assault, alcohol abuse and child abuse to arm Airmen with the knowledge to tackle ongoing issues in the Air Force.

“As a team, it's our responsibility to take care of one another and do what we can to help strengthen that member,” said Jacinta Howell, 23d Wing sexual assault response coordinator. “It therefore strengthens the team and strengthens the mission.”

Instead of focusing on one problem, Airmen came together to address several, a challenge the Air Force has proven possible through its war-fighting capabilities.

“A lot of the issues these awareness events are bringing to light are intertwined, and they have some overlapping risk factors,” Howell said. “I think a lot of times we tend to focus on one problem at a time when the reality is we are a big enough and strong enough force to tackle multiple issues.”

The issues are complex and the discussion may be difficult, so the event planners used alternative methods to engage with the participants. Yoga and dance instructors filled the park with high energy activities, drawing in passers-by from all directions.

It’s important to raise awareness for these issues, said Senior Airman Alysia Carrero, 23d Maintenance Squadron conventional maintenance crew chief. Anyone could be going through a difficult time and remain quiet about their struggles. Events like these help the participants recognize those signs so they can truly help out.

The event’s goal was to raise morale for Airmen, enabling them to learn in an engaging way.

“We haven't been able to have a wing event for a long time.” Howell said. “People are just itching to be able to get together and socialize and we can help in a way that we can still learn, but have fun at the same time.”

Helping agencies and other organizations in the Air Force will continue to seize opportunities to strengthen the service, such as the Diversity Day event in May that will focus on celebrating the different cultures in the Air Force.